Lord of Temptation(Lost Lords of Pembrook,Book 2)(22) by Lorraine Heath
“Did your fiancé never—”
“He told me I was pretty; pretty is not beautiful. I don’t wish to talk of him.” Not tonight. Not when she’d enjoyed dinner with a charming man, when that same man brought her senses to life as they’d not been in a good long while.
A deep mournful moan echoed in the distance.
“What’s that?” she asked.
“That’s a rather lonely sound, isn’t it?”
“He’s probably searching for his mate.”
She found herself looking at him once again, studying him. “Do you ever get lonely out here?”
He didn’t answer right away, but his gaze was focused on her as though he were striving to determine how much to reveal, how much to trust her. “Sometimes,” he finally said quietly. “But I’m not lonely now.”
She wasn’t certain when, but he had moved closer and the motion of the ship caused them to brush up against each other from time to time. His stance was steadier than hers, but she no longer fought the rolling toward him. They didn’t have much more moon tonight than the night before, but with no fog the stars stretched into eternity. His face seemed to be lost in fewer shadows, although perhaps it was only that she now knew every mountain and valley that comprised his strong, noble features.
How simple it would be to just lift up on her toes and press her mouth to his. Give him the kiss he demanded. She had no doubt that it would be as slow and leisurely as he’d promised. But she also thought it would be incredibly warm and very, very intoxicating.
She heard another whale, the lowing slightly different from the first. Was it the whale’s mate? Or just another desolate creature? Until this moment she hadn’t realized how terribly lonely she was, how she longed for this emptiness inside her to be filled.
She had no doubt that the man standing near could fill her to overflowing, but then he would leave and she would once again be empty. Was it better to have the fullness for a little while than to never experience it at all? Was it worth the pain that would surely follow?
Her lips tingled, her breasts tingled. Her toes curled. She realized that her fingers were clutching his waistcoat and she wondered when she’d released her hold on his jacket and grabbed him instead. They were facing each other, and that, too, she didn’t remember making a conscious decision to accomplish. But here they were, so close again that their breaths were mingling, his warming her cheek. “Are you going to kiss me now?”
“Anticipation will serve only to make the moment that much more unforgettable.”
“It might also serve to disappoint, to build up expectations that cannot be met.”
“I think that highly unlikely.”
“You do realize that you’re tormenting me.”
He flashed a grin. “Not nearly enough. Not yet. One kiss is all I shall have, Princess. When I claim it, I want you yearning for it so desperately that you hold nothing back.”
“I won’t hold anything back now.”
He lowered his head. She closed her eyes, felt his lips skimming along her cheek.
“Not yet,” he said in a low voice near her ear, sending shivers of pleasure gliding through her.
She almost grabbed his hair, yanked on it, and forced his mouth onto hers. But if he could resist, so could she. Inhaling deeply, she opened her eyes. “You’re a cruel man, Captain.”
To her surprise, chuckling low, he turned her to face the sea, stepped behind her, and wound his arms around her. “So I’ve been told.”
She didn’t know why at that moment, protected by the curve of his solid body, she was happier than she’d been in a good long while.
Why the devil was he tormenting himself? He hadn’t a bloody clue. He could have had her tonight—a kiss and more. He was almost certain of it. It was the almost that had him waiting. Unfortunately, in spite of all his reassurances to her, he wasn’t going to be satisfied with only a kiss.
Dammit all! No woman had ever plagued him as she did. When he escorted her from the deck, he’d been so tempted to follow her into his cabin and chase out the silly maid and her clacking knitting needles. Instead, he simply retrieved Jane Austen. Poor substitute.
Since her hovering maid wasn’t using the first mate’s cabin, Tristan decided to bed down there. It wasn’t nearly as comfortable as his own quarters. He’d had all his furniture handcrafted to accommodate for his height and broad shoulders. He’d also paid extra for comfort. Few homes could boast nicer accommodations than what he provided for himself. What was the point in accumulating wealth if one didn’t enjoy the fruits of one’s labors?
He could hear soft murmurings from the room next door. He was half tempted to hold a glass to the wall and press his ear to it so he could hear the exact words. Instead, he simply lay there with the lamp still burning and listened to the feminine lullaby. Eventually it drifted into silence, and when it did, he opened the book. On the inside of the cover was an inscription:
To my darling Anne
With all my love always,
Tristan wondered what other gifts the pup may have given her. As he valued books, he couldn’t fault this present, but he wondered if she possessed jewelry or hair ribbons or gloves that her betrothed had bestowed upon her. Perhaps when he returned to London he would send her a gift for remembrance. Something naughty. Stockings perhaps. Something that would glide over her toes, the arch of her foot, her heel. Something that she would slide up her calf, over her knee, along her thigh.
Copyright © 2015 by Read Best Books Free Online